It turns out that two-year-olds are excessively concerned about possession. Not of the demonic type, though I do sometimes wonder as he throws himself into a thrashing heap of screaming, writhing tantrum.
No, Monkey is mostly worried about ownership--specifically, what is, “MINE.” Sometimes he just wanders about the house, listing off his belongings.
“My car. My table. My froggie. My crayons.” He peacefully pats each item as he walks past.
“My monster truck.”
“NO! That’s MY MONSTER TRUCK!” Jabber pushes, shoves, body slams. There is wailing; there are tears. This scene is replayed many times throughout the day, as the toddler and preschooler negotiate ownership of all of the toys and such a million times. It turns out five-year-olds are just as concerned about these things.
Along with this is Monkey’s demand to “SHARE!” which is just a variation on, “GIVE IT TO ME! IT’S MINE!”
Which brings me to the topic of my breasts.
What? You didn’t catch the segue?
So I find myself nursing a two-year-old. All right. I support this. I have been saying since Monkey was born that I’d like to nurse him until he was two, which is a few months longer than his big brother nursed. Jabber gave it up cold turkey at 20 months, after I had something going on for three nights in a row and missed his bedtime session, which was basically all he was interested in at the time. On the third day, he solemnly patted my breasts and said, “Nummies gone bye-bye,” and after that, he wasn’t interested.
Not so with the Monk. Even after I went to Florida for five days, he is still going strong. He’s pretty flexible about nursing if I am not around; he stays overnight with the grandparents without a problem and never asks for it once. However, if I’m around, if I’m sitting down, he wants to nurse. About half the time he crawls up in my lap, showers me with kisses, and then just tips over on my lap and smiles at me sweetly, patting my shirt lightly and asking, “I have nummies pleeeeeeease?” He’s adorable and irresistible, and I have no problem nursing him.
Sometimes he’s downright heart-melting in his nursing bliss, such as several nights ago when David and I were going to bed, and he woke up halfway and made this seriously happy sighing sound. “Ahhh, nummies,” he whispered, followed by a couple of happy sleepy little chuckles. There was nothing to feel but love as I crawled into bed beside him and snuggled.
Other times, it’s not so cute, to be perfectly honest. Back to possession, demonic and otherwise, the two of us have yet to come to agreement about who owns the nummies. My reaction to his terrorist demands of “MINE NUMMIES NOW!” accompanied by shirt-tugging and tantrumming is to shut off supply indefinitely. My heart is hard. I do not negotiate.
“You are being a bully,” I say. “The nummies are closed.”
His reaction to the sudden cut-off is pretty consistent to that of any addict: he cries, he shakes, he begs, he bargains. He tries to sneak a quick slurp as I wash my hair over the tub. He promises to change.
“I be nice nummies,” he says, crawling up into my lap.
“These are Mama’s nummies,” I say.
“No. Mine.” His jaw is set in stubborn baby persistence.
“These are Mama’s nummies. But I may be persuaded to let you share them from time to time, if you are very polite and respectful of them, and if you agree to let go and leave me be the first time I ask. Also, I require you to keep your feet out of my mouth. And no pinching.”
He listens carefully to my conditions, lying across my lap with his hand just barely touching the hem of my shirt. “Okay,” he says, nodding solemnly. “I share.”
“All right then.” We begin to nurse, both of us on our best behavior, gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes. It is wonderful nursing a toddler!
Monkey detaches, just a little, just enough to speak. “Mine nummies,” he says softly, and then closes his eyes and gets back to business.